In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 82 (FINAL chapter)

 "In the Morning, I'll Say Hello" is a yuri comic I wrote. But I can't draw, so I'm posting the scripts here for your enjoyment.

"In the Morning, I'll Say Hello" - by Jaime Lustig

Chapter 82

"In the Morning, I'll Say Hello"



Hatsue and Yuka are packing up Yuka's room. Aiko is sitting on the bed, arms crossed watching.


Hatsue: "I can't believe your moving back in with your mom."


Aiko: "You don't have to do this you know."


Yuka looks up from the box she's packing. Aiko turns her head away to avoid her glance. Yuka goes over to her.


Aiko: "I'm mad, but, I said I'd support you no matter what and I meant it."


Yuka tucks her head into the side of Aiko's arm in an affectionate gesture. Aiko blushes but still won't make eye contact and is acting huffy.


Hatsue: "I'm going to check on Kiyoura-onee-san, give you guys some space."


Aiko stares her down, Hatsue laughs and leaves.


Hatsue walks out into the main area, she sees Suzu in the kitchen getting some tea ready. Suzu is fumbling and drops a cup which shatters.


Suzu: "Shit."


She bends down to start cleaning it up. Hatsue kneels down next to her.


Hatsue: "Can I give you a hand?"


Suzu: "Oh, Fujimaki-san, no that's okay. Thank you for helping Yuka today."


Hatsue: "Are you really okay with this? I mean, I don't know all the details, but I get the sense this is a big deal."


Suzu: "Her mom came back, of course she'd want to be with her."


Hatsue (to herself): "She's your mom too."


Hatsue: "What about you? Won't you be lonely?"


Suzu: "Here, take this to the others."


Hatsue: "Oh, okay."


Hatsue leaves, Suzu braces herself on the counter.


Suzu: "For 10 years...for 10 years I've been your mother and now you're leaving and going to her. I mean, I knew you'd leave some day, but not like this, not to her, not to somewhere I can't protect you."


Tears start coming down. Suzu hears the girls packing and talking in the bedroom. She quickly wipes her tears and goes outside to the landing. As she's going out, her mom is coming up.


Rieko: "Suzu...what's wrong?"


Suzu turns away, eyes red.


Suzu: "Nothing, I'm fine, she's in there packing with her friends."


Rieko comes up behind Suzu and puts a hand on her shoulder. Suzu yanks it off.


Suzu: "Please, just do what you came here to do."


Rieko starts to walk inside, with the door part open, she pauses and turns to Suzu.


Rieko: "Thank you. Thank you for protecting her all these years. Thank you for taking care of her until I was ready. Thank you...for being her mother, until I could be. did an amazing job. I wanted you to know that. I'm so very proud of you."


Suzu doesn't turn around, she doesn't acknowledge this. Rieko puts her head down and walks into the apartment. Quietly, Suzu says to herself.


Suzu: "Mom..."




Eriko stumbles into the dark house she shares with Heizo. She makes her way in to check on him. He's sleeping, shallow, infrequent, raspy breaths. She kneels down and kisses his forehead. He stirs slightly.


Heizo: "Cough...cough...I'm getting...a lot...of...kisses...lately..."


Eriko smiles at this.


Eriko: "Shhh, save your strength."


Heizo: "Were the flowers...cough...beautiful?"


Eriko lifts up his head and gives him a drink of water while answering.


Eriko: "They were amazing. I'm so glad I finally had a chance to see them before I go."


Heizo: "You're leaving?"


Eriko: "Yes..."


Heizo: "So am I."


Eriko: "No, don't say that, please."


Heizo: "Eriko, child, you understand right?"


Eriko: "I...I do."


Heizo: “cough...where will you go?”


Eriko: “Home.”


Heizo: “cough...cough...So you’ve remembered?”


Eriko: “mmmm”


Heizo: "Cough...cough...I don't...mean to pry...cough...but the little one...does she know?"


Eriko: "'s too late for that. We were never meant to be."


Heizo: "It's never too late...cough...cough...look at me, I finally...cough...cough...had a child...cough...after all these years alone."


Eriko: "Oh, Arish...Heizo..."


Heizo: “ should be with her today...cough...cough...instead of caring for a dying old should be certain...cough...before you go."


Eriko: “No. I want to be here with you today. You saved me, you showed me how much good there could be in the world. That's something I so desperately needed to believe."


Silence. Eriko looks down.


Eriko: "Heizo? Heizo?!"


She realizes that he's passed away in her arms.


Eriko: "Oh god, no, NO! You're all I had! You're all I had left..."


She holds his head tight against her chest and cries, a wailing cry to the heavens, tears streaming down her face, falling on his forehead.


Eriko: "FATHER, WHY DID YOU LET ME DO THIS?! I couldn't protect Yuka, I couldn't save Arishima from his pain. What good is being human if I can't do anything for them?! Is this what you wanted me to understand?"


After some time, she lays Heizo down on his futon. She closes her eyes and raises her arms up to the heavens and says quietly and calmly:


Eriko: "Kami-sama, please, take him now, let him be with his wife and son. Please, please, if you have to take me today, take him first."


The blue light forms above his body. The electric tendrils reach out and touch his limbs, his body slowly floats into the air, it's enveloped by the blue energy and slowly disintegrates into shimmering light that floats like infinite star dust up and away.




The black panels with the starburst lights representing Kami-sama and Eriko's mother.


Eriko's mother: "You aren't taking her back yet?"


Kami-sama: "Our contract was for one year, her time is not yet up."


Eriko's mother: "Then there is still hope."




Hatsue, Aiko, Yuka and Rieko packing Yuka's room.


Rieko: "Is it okay if I box up the stuff on your desk?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Rieko is putting things away. She takes the calendar and photos down from the wall. She sees that Yuka has put a photo of her on the corkboard (from the album she and Suzu were looking at in a prior chapter).


Rieko: "She...was thinking of me...all this time."


Rieko hugs the photo to herself before putting it in the box. She moves on to the stuff on the desk (pencil case, desk lamp, office supplies, a couple framed photos, etc...). She sees the broken necklace (the one from Eriko for Yuka's birthday, that broke during their break up).


Rieko (to herself): "Cheap thing broke, oh well. I guess there's no point packing garbage."


She throws it into the garbage bag by the desk. Hatsue walks over and throws some other stuff away on top of it (without noticing it) and ties up the garbage bag and brings it out of the room to throw away.


Rieko: "Well, is that everything?"


They're all looking around at the empty room.


Rieko: "The movers ought to be here any time now. Why don't we wait for them outside, get some fresh air?"



Eriko is in her room. She's looking around one last time. She sees the dress that was a gift from Yuka hanging up. She goes over to it and touches it gently.


Eriko: "You gave this to me, when you said you loved me..."


She takes her plain clothes off, we see her scars, and she puts the dress on and walks out of the house, locking the door behind her.




Suzu is standing in the doorway of Yuka's empty room.


Suzu (to herself): "It looks so big without your stuff but it feels small without you in it."


Aiko comes up behind her and puts a hand on her shoulder.


Aiko: "They're about to leave."


Suzu: "mmmm"


Aiko: "It's not really goodbye."


Suzu (to herself): "But who am I without her here?"




The movers are putting the last boxes into the truck.


Mover: "I think that's everything ma'am."


Rieko: "Okay, we'll see you there."


Suzu is sitting on steps at the base of the exterior stairway watching. Yuka looks over and sees her and goes over to her. They stare at each other at a loss for words.


Suzu: "It''s not too late. We can tell them to put it all back."


Suzu (to herself): "God, I sound so pathetic."


Yuka shakes her head 'no.' She then points to Suzu and then turns and spreads her arms wide in a outward sweeping motion indicating that the world can open up to Suzu now.


Suzu (to herself): "You are so amazing. I wish I was as brave as you."


Suzu: "Sigh...Make sure you come over sometimes, okay?"


Yuka vigorously nods 'yes.'


Suzu: "You know this will always be your home? Right?"


Yuka nods more solemnly. They are just looking at each other, nothing more needs to be said. Tears start welling up in both of their eyes and they embrace each other in a big hug. Aiko turns to Hatsue.


Aiko: "I don't like this."


Hatsue: "But it's her mom, right?"


Aiko (to herself): "Mom...I would give so much to see you one more time."


Aiko: "I...I know...but..."


Hatsue is looking at Yuka and Suzu saying their goodbyes.


Hatsue (to herself): "Where are you Eriko-chan, you should be here."


Yuka walks back over to Aiko and Hatsue. She takes Aiko's hands in hers.


Aiko: "This isn't goodbye. We'll still see each other in school and you can come over anytime."


Yuka raises Aiko's hand to her (Yuka's) cheek. Aiko strokes Yuka's cheek with the back of her hand. At this, Hatsue notices Yuka's neck and the missing necklace.


Hatsue (to herself): "She took the necklace off? But she always had it on. Is it really over between them? I know I shouldn't, but maybe I'll stick my nose in, one last time."


Hatsue: "Yuka-chan, um, where's your necklace?"


Yuka puts her hand to her neck, thinks of that night when Eriko gave it to her on the bench, and looks up at her mom questioningly with big eyes.


Rieko: "Oh, you mean that broken one that was on your desk?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Rieko: "I threw it out, it was too cheap to fix."


Yuka recalls the fight with Eriko and the necklace breaking. Yuka looks shocked and turns to Suzu with wide searching eyes.


Hatsue (to herself): "There she is!"


Suzu: "It's okay, we'll find it."


Rieko: "I don't get it. I'll buy you a nicer one."


Yuka shakes her head 'no' and rushes up the stairs, back into the apartment, and into her room. She's frantically looking around, but there's nothing there. She runs out of her room just as the others are coming up behind her. She brushes past them and out the door.


Rieko: "Yuka, we need to take the train and follow the movers."


With tears in her eyes, Yuka shakes her head 'no' and rushes down the stairs to the garbage area. She's pulling bags from the dumpster and the fenced in area. She's opening bags and furiously looking. Aiko comes up behind her.


Aiko: "I'll help, you do this side, and I'll do this one."


Yuka looks at her with wet but thankful eyes.


Aiko: "I told you I'd stand by you. I didn't think it would mean looking through garbage for something that idiot gave you, but I promised after all."


Yuka turns and gives her a big hug. Aiko is shocked, then closes her eyes and hugs her back.


Hatsue: "Alright you two, there'll be time for that later, let's find this thing."


Rieko: "What should I tell the movers?"


Suzu: "Just help look,"


Rieko (to herself): "You called me mom."


The five of them are looking through the trash bags.


Suzu: "I don't see it anywhere."


Aiko: "Just keep looking."


Rieko (to herself): "Yuka, you have so many people who love you. I...I'm so happy."


Hatsue comes up with it.


Hatsue: "I found it!"


Yuka rushes over and Hatsue puts it in Yuka's hand. Yuka presses it to her heart with her eyes closed, a relieved and contented look spreads on her face.


Hatsue: "I really don't know what's happened between you two, but are you okay leaving things the way they are now?"


Tears well up in Yuka's eyes. She drops her head and shakes it ever so slightly 'no.'


Hatsue (to herself): "Thank god!"


Hatsue: "Then what are you waiting for? Let's go!"


Rieko is looking confused and just about to ask when Aiko interrupts her.


Aiko: "If it's okay, why don't you head to your house? I'll bring her in my car later. There's someone else she needs to say goodbye to."


Rieko: "Won't she see them in school?"


Suzu comes up and puts a hand on her mom's shoulder.


Suzu: "Let them go, I'll explain everything while we're on the train."


Rieko: "You're coming with me?"


Suzu: "You were supposed to take a daughter home today."




Hatsue, Aiko and Yuka pull up in Aiko's town car to Arishima's house.


Hatsue: "You ready?"


Yuka looks down to see the necklace in her hand, then presses the necklace in her hand to her heart again, looks up and shakes her head 'yes' vigorously and gives a fist pump.


Hatsue: "Go get her!"


Yuka goes up to the door and rings, no one answers. She knocks. No answer. She tries the knob, it won't open.             She lowers her head, turns around and is about to walk back to the car when Hatsue rushes by and drop kicks the door open. Hatsue is standing there panting over the knocked down door. Aiko walks up behind her.


Aiko: "What got into you?


Hatsue: "Guess I learned a couple things from Eriko-chan."


Aiko: "I hope that's all you learned."


They're searching the house, it's dark, and empty. They check each room, but no one is there. Aiko is looking in Heizo's room. His futon is empty. She pauses by it and kneels down. She drops her head in reverence and puts her hands together in prayer (we get the feeling she might know that he has passed, but nothing is ever said).


Yuka is in Eriko's room. She sees a purikura (photo booth photo strip) they took together pinned up on Eriko's bulletin board. She looks around and sees the hanger on the wall where the dress was. As she's leaving, she sees the mirror from Heizo's wife on Eriko's desk. It flashes in the light as she passes.


The three girls meet again in the main room.


Hatsue: "Did you find anyone?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no' discretely.


Hatsue: "Okumura-san?"


Aiko shakes her head.


                Aiko: "No."


Yuka is looking downcast.


Hatsue: "Where could they have gone?"


Aiko: "We should split up and search."


Hatsue: "That makes sense. Okumura-san, you take the hospital, I'll take the school. Yuka-chan, why don't you check the neighborhood. Sound okay?"


Yuka nods 'yes.' The three of them are leaving. As they head out of the house and start to split up, Yuka pauses and stares down the street. She thinks back to the faint glimpse of Eriko walking away from the cherry blossoms that morning. Aiko puts a hand on Yuka's shoulder and looks her square in the eyes.


Aiko: "You know where she is, don't you?"


Yuka nods 'yes' softly.


Aiko: "Then run to her."




It's getting towards dusk now. Eriko walks into the alley: the one where she was first found, where she helped the homeless man, where she saved Kishi, where she got her memories back earlier in the day.


Eriko: "Now I know why I've always been drawn here. This is where you sent me to find her, to fall in love with her, to hope against hope she could love me back, foolishly..."


She sits down in the alley against the brick wall of the building, watching the little slice of sky that shows between the buildings.


Eriko: "Soon, soon I will be home again, it really my home anymore?"


Time passes. The sky turns dark and stars appear.


Eriko: "I always knew human lives were filled with pain, but I thought that only I could end that pain. But they are amazing, their capacity for love, for forgiveness, for healing, is more powerful than all the power of the heavens combined...I understand now...I'm ready to do again what little I can to ease their burden."


Eriko thinks of Yuka on the first day she met her outside of school, bumping into her and tripping, staring in her eyes. Then she thinks of various happy moments including some of their kisses, giving her the necklace, rolling down the hill, etc... Tears form in her eyes.


Eriko: "I hope I made your life a little better. I won't ever forget you. You are my everything. I was selfish to think you would love me after all I did, but I will never stop loving you."


She looks up at the stars.


Eriko: "It's time."


She moves to the center of the alley. She crouches down. She starts to flex her back. She begins to scream in pain as her dress tears across her back, blood starting to show through the dress, then the visible scars seen through the tears in the clothing. From the bloody scars, wings begin to emerge from her back, ripping through her skin. Finally they emerge in full, dripping in blood. She's panting, sweating, working to catch her breath. She stands, the wings spreading gloriously behind her. She looks up to the sky above.


Eriko: "Kami-sama, you were right. I'm ready to fulfill my duty. For all eternity, I shall remain by your side."


The blue light begins to form above her. Its tendrils of energy begin to radiate out and spike over her, tracing her limbs and newly formed wings. She is being completely enveloped by the energy, ready to ascend.


Eriko: "If only I could have seen you one last time..."


Right then, out of the corner of her eye she sees something. Yuka has run into the alley, she's standing there, panting, out of breath, staring at Eriko. Their eyes meet and widen. They both have tears in their eyes. Eriko smiles a gentle smile at Yuka. Eriko mouths silently:


Eriko: "I love you. Goodbye."


Eriko looks up, raises her arms as the energy surrounds her completely, about to disappear. Suddenly Yuka screams.




As she screams, Yuka is running over and throws herself into Eriko, knocking Eriko to the ground and covering her with her own body. The energy tendrils reach out to Yuka (now covering Eriko) and the energy envelopes Yuka instead. She is screaming silently in pain as she disappears into the energy. Eriko has been left behind, passed out, wingless and with the torn dress, lying in the alley, blood pooling beneath her from her back. In the palm of her open hand is the broken necklace.





The black panels with the starbursts of light representing Kami-sama and Eriko's mother. Yuka too is represented as a starburst.


Eriko's mother: "Yuka-chan, do you know who we are?"


Yuka: "I...I think so."


Eriko's mother: "I am the mother of the one you call Eriko, and this is her father, Kami-sama, the father of all."


Kami-sama: "You have seen her awesome power, she has caused you so much pain. Why then? Why did you stop her from returning to me?"


There is a pause. Yuka says simply:


Yuka: "Because I love her."


Kami-sama: "Despite all that she has done, taking so many lives, guilty as they may be, depriving you of your mother, your voice, even at times your friends. Yet you love her still?"


Yuka: "Do you love her any less for all that?"


Kami-sama: "I am infinite love."


Yuka: "Then you understand my feelings."


Kami-sama: "Ha! Well said, well said young one."


Eriko's mother: "Kami-sama, will you honor Raguel's wish?"


Kami-sama: "What choice do I have? I gave our daughter one year to prove the love of this child equal to the love of an angel. What could possibly surpass infinite love between two people?"


Yuka: "Then...then she can stay?"


Kami-sama: "Treasure her."


Yuka: "I will! Thank you, thank you so much!"


Eriko's mother: "Until we meet again, a very long time from now."


There is a bright flash of brilliant light.




In Eriko's bedroom in Arishima's house. Eriko is lying asleep in her bed, Yuka awakens next to her. She looks around, uncertain at first of where she is. The light of dawn is just coming in through the curtains, dust sparkling in the light rays. Yuka turns to see Eriko peacefully asleep next to her. Her arms and legs are free of scars. She looks so peaceful.


Yuka brushes some hair from Eriko's face. Yuka is staring at her lovingly. She leans down and gently kisses Eriko's cheek and lays her head on Eriko's shoulder, snuggling in. A small smile crosses Eriko's lips in her sleep. Yuka puts a hand on Eriko's hand and their fingers intertwine (Eriko's moving instinctively). They are laying there next to each other, Eriko sleeping, Yuka tucked in next to her.


Yuka: "In the morning, when you wake up, I'll say 'hello,' and tell you that I'll love you forever."




The door opens to Rieko's home. Our vantage point is from the inside entryway (Ed. Note: the genkan). We see several pairs of legs/feet walk in and we see as their shoes get slipped off.


Voice: “I’m home.”


We pan up to see Yuka and Eriko together, holding hands in the entryway to Rieko's house.


Yuka: “Mom, I have someone I’d like you to meet.”



Author's Note: Thank you so much for reading all the way through to the end. It was such an amazing experience writing this, trying to pull together all the things that have been meaningful to me in manga and create my own original story. Thank you to all the mangakas out there who have brought so much joy to my life through their work. I meant this work as a sincere love letter to them all! 

PS, if you are an artist, and have any interest in collaborating, I really would like to publish this as a graphic novel. I would probably change the setting and characters to reflect that I am not Japanese, and so I wouldn't want a formal published work to reek of cultural appropriation (again, I wrote this in the style of a manga as a love letter to all those that meant so much to me, but if I ever published, I wouldn't want to appropriate). So if you're interested, contact me!

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